Seven triathletes from Kelowna are representing Canada at the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Age Group Championships this week in Chicago.
The event also serves as the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final where the world’s top standard-distance triathletes will compete for a world championship title, less than a year ahead of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
In addition to the elite races, the event features top-flight sprint and standard-distance races for age-group athletes, paratriathletes, juniors and under-23s, as well as an Aquathlon. According to the event website more than 6,500 of the world’s best triathletes will compete for the podium, over four days of competition.
The sprint race, comprising a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer cycle and 5-kilometer run, features local athletes Pamela Nonis (40-44), Jeanette Hoft (50-54), Tim Purcer (55-59), Tony Hoft (60-64) as well as Judy Lloyd and David Lloyd (65-69).
Stu Hughes (65-69) is the only Kelowna athlete competing in the standard distance which includes a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer cycle and 10-kilometer run.
The Hofts will also compete in the Aquathlon World Championships the day before the sprint triathlon, consisting of a 1.5-kilometer swim and a 5-kilometer run broken into 2.9-kilometer and 2.1-kilometer either end of the swim.
Nonis and Hughes are coached by Rob Swan.
Many of the seven-member team qualified for participation in the 2015 ITU Age Group World Championships at the 2014 Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon.
“The Apple has through the years encouraged many to participate in the sport. Kelowna now has a vibrant age group and youth triathlon community, with competent coaches and some of the most modern and accessible swim facilities, scenic cycling- and safe run routes , ” said Jeanette Hoft.
Hughes, who will participate in an ITU Triathlon World Championships for the first time, will have his family, including his wife, son and granddaughters from Kelowna supporting him in Chicago. “Our granddaughters are really proud of Stu and they’ll be there to cheer on their granddad,” said his wife, Diana.
More information on all events can be found at chicago.triathlon.org